Fall is in full swing and is changing the scenery at the farm.
Both the Sangria and Poinsettia Ornamental Pepper plants have finally succumbed to the hard freeze and frosts of mother nature in the past week. We picked the largest of the pepper pods from each of the plants and saved them for next year’s seeds. It’s an easy process that has worked well for us the past few years. We let the peppers air dry for a few weeks after picking – and then cut them open with a sharp knife to remove all of the seeds. After that, it’s as easy as rolling them up in a paper towel, putting them in a zip lock bag – and storing them in a drawer until next January. We grow all of our ornamental peppers from seed, and we have learned you have to start them early. Last year, we started them in Mid-January and it worked out perfect – with nice large plants ready to hit the ground running the first of May.
The silo project has started! After writing about it last week – I got even more excited about getting it up and started to put the building plan in action. I have to admit that the most daunting part of building was figuring out how to create the round top that makes a silo a silo. So, this past week was spent getting the top’s framework designed and built. After playing around with some paper cutouts and cardboard samples for a few days, and driving Mary crazy trying to remember all of the fun math equations we had back in school – we had the design down on paper.
We made the dome out of one sheet of 3/4″ thick 4′ x 8′ OBS board. I used the jigsaw to cut out three-foot arc’s and then attached them all together with screws. It actually came together really easy (must be Mary’s sharp math skills! 🙂 ) This week, hopefully we can put on the metal roof and trim strips – and finish it off by building the tower next week. I would like to have it up by the end of the month and start filling it with all of the leaves from this year’s haul.
The garden is almost entirely at rest now – with 22 of the 26 rows fully engulfed in their cover crops. The fall garlic and onion crops we planted a few weeks ago have actually grown a little too well. You want to plant garlic in the fall to get it to sprout a little and get some bottom growth – but this year, with the late warm weather – it has really taken off a little more than we like. We applied some straw mulch to it last week to help it weather through the winter better – but we will see how it turns out for next year’s crop. Same goes for the fall planting of the onions.
The only “picking” crops we have left in the garden are the sugar snap peas and lettuce – and both are doing well. The lettuce is just about to be harvested this week for a couple of good final fresh salads – and the sugar snap peas need about another week or two to get to maturity for picking.
The weather was nice enough this past week to get the last of the stone retaining wall put in place at the front entrance. Now – it’s a waiting game until late winter / early spring when we can start to divide more of our ornamental grasses and perennials to fill the whole area in with landscaping. I can’t wait to finally have it all come together!
Finally, we also want to send a big thank you out to Gnowfglins for featuring our farm on their Down Home Farm Tours this past week. http://gnowfglins.com/2012/10/15/old-world-garden-farms/# They have a great website and blog full of all kinds of useful information on growing, canning and cooking – and we were honored to have them feature us.
Hope everyone has a great week!
Jim and Mary